Everyone in the group came out of the portal in a sort of disarrayed conga line, one piling after another. As a sort of cherry on top, Sagebear was draped over Harwood’s back.
It seemed an amusing enough sight to Emit, who managed to hold it together as he stepped back and made his dramatic, hammy declaration to them:
“Welcome! To the world of tomorrow!”
Sinbad wriggled out from underneath Shark and pressed his hand into Emit’s face, pushing him away. “Shut up, Terry.” He then looked out at the sprawling landscape before him.
“So this is the future, huh?” He just snorted as though he were unimpressed. “Kind of a letdown, if you ask me.”
Now it was Shark’s turn to get out of the human and dog pile and join him. “I don’t know. Maybe there’s more to it than what meets the eye. It looks really gorgeous to me.”
Indeed, the entire land that could be seen practically glimmered and shone under the sun. Even the trees had an air of beauty about them.
Emit them cleared his throat to get everyone’s attention. “Now then, if you all will come with me, I simply must give you the tour of my homeland.”
It bothered Moony so much to see Annette’s condition gradually deteriorating the way it was.
“Pretty sure there ain’t any tea left in there, lassie,” he tried to tell her after she attempted to pour now imaginary tea into her daughter’s cup.
Next to him, Ox-Head was curled up in his own filth. His own cup was now very much empty, or perhaps filled with air supposedly poured from the teapot.
Annette herself looked like more of a mess than ever. She hadn’t bathed since she’d been thrown into the cell, and she smelled horrid. Her cheeks were also stained badly with falling tears.
Some time during the endless loop of tea parties, she’d accidentally gripped the stuffed clone’s teacup too tightly, causing it to break. Now she had an injured hand, and a mess drying on the table.
“This is just sad…” Moony placed his hand over his mask, walking off to leave the unpleasant scene behind him now.
“Now then,” Emit spoke as he turned to face the others. “Before we begin the grand tour, do any of you have questions?” After they all left his house, Emit had brought them all to a location with statues, each in his likeness. He seemed quite proud of them.
Right away, Sinbad took advantage of the situation. “Do we have to listen to you?”
“Er…” Emit clearly wasn’t expecting that sort of question. “I suppose it isn’t necessary. Any other questions?” As he talked, Sagebear waddled over to one of the statues, and began sniffing at it.
Now it was Harwood’s turn to ask a question. “Do your concepts of modesty match ours?” It was clear he just wanted an excuse to get naked in the future.
So it went on. Everyone’s questions became all the more ludicrous and embarrassing. They ranged from “Where’s the bathroom?” to “How future-y is the future?” and even “Is mayonnaise an instrument yet?”
By the time the session was over, Emit appeared to breathe a sigh of relief.
“Now then, I direct you to the statues of my achievements. Each one designed for the amazing feat in which I have accomplished-”
But as he turned around, Emit was confronted with the largest statue of him tipping over and shattering. The sight was enough to strike him aghast.
“What?! How…?!” Behind the now empty pedestal, Sagebear waddled out and rejoined Shark by his side.
“Sagebear? Was that you who did that? How’d you do that?” Shark was more confused than horrified at what just happened.
As Emit ran over and gathered the pieces, Shark could’ve sworn he saw Sagebear’s eyes glowing bright blue.
It seemed even in the future, insects would come out in droves.
The Builder walked by, hearing the sound of cicadas all around them. One in particular was especially close by, right next to them as they walked past some crystal foliage.
“Wretched bugs…” They muttered as they stepped back. Leaning in closer, The Builder made absolutely certain they were close enough to the cicada to touch it.
Picking it up with their thumb and forefinger, they looked at it with a supposed look of wonder.
Then they bit its head off and sucked out the insides, throwing aside the carapace. Continuing their stride through the crystals, they then pulled out a bottle of apple vodka, and drained it in its entirely.
“That’s better,” they said with a subtle slur. Then they continued toward the futuristic city, ready to set their latest plot in motion.
(song where the chapter title came from:)